Akure the Ondo State capital today welcome who-is-who in the camp of the All Progressive Congress party to Flag-off the re-election campaign of the incumbent governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN.
In an entourage led by the national Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, they were earlier ushered by Akeredolu to commission some landmark projects executed by him before they moved to the Sport Stadium for Flag-off ceremony.
Despite the rainy atmosphere, lovers of Akeredolu, party members, Iyalojas, members of the NURTW, RTEAN, and so many social and political groups filled the stadium to the brim, dancing as the popular musician, Yinka Ayefele and some local upcoming artistes entertained them.
The National leader of the All ProgressiveAsiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu commended the Ondo State Governor, for laying a good foundation for the overall development of the state.
Tinubu said Akeredolu has done more than talk development and dedicated himself and his administration to bringing development to the state.
The former Lagos state Governor who said this at the commissioning of the newly built Internal Revenue Service office, noted that since the Governor came on board in 2016, he has had his hands on the plough, recording one milestone after another.
“Among the laudable projects he has launched is the Ore Industrial Hub which was commissioned by President Buhari. That industrial hub will bring needed employment and economic development to the deserving people living in the Ore vicinity.
“Step by step, project by project, industrial hub by industrial hub is how we construct the foundation for durable progress and prosperity. Governor Akeredolu has done more than talk development; he has dedicated himself and his government to bringing development to this state.” Tinubu said.
Earlier in his remark, Akeredolu who was in company of his wife, Betty, said his administration inherited a monthly Internally Generated Revenue of not more than N700million.
He noted that before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state was already generating N2billion monthly.
He said:”When we took over the administration of the State in 2017, one of our strongest desires was to change the Tax narratives of the State and generate the ambience of modern tax processes and collection.
“I am very sure you will all agree with me that Revenue is the live wire of any administration which craves success. Some of the numerous challenges inherited by this Administration, in our bid to actualize the aforementioned desire, was the menace of a notorious tax system and a Board of Internal Revenue that was moribund and ineffectual.
“Revenue generation activities were stifled, all operations were manual, a disenchanted workforce, 15 vehicles out of 23 were grounded. There was also a cumbersome process of tax payment which ensured that Tax Payers waited for days to pay at the bank and spent even more days to get their receipts. They would consider themselves lucky to get documents evidencing transactions.
“Here in Akure, the State capital, where the head office was dirty and the operations chaotic, the Board was operating under the Personal Income Tax 2004 and ignoring completely all the amendments to the law in 2011. There was also no domestication of the Federal Law to grant some form of financial and administrative autonomy to the Board of Internal revenue. This made their access to funds for their operations tedious. In fact, the board only got running grant for 9 out of 12 months in 2016 as a result of sloppiness.”
Appreciating the national Leadership of the party, and the governors for their presence, Akeredolu said it’s evident that APC was a big United family.
He charged party members to start the campaign fully in their various wards and units, especially at the grassroots.
APC Governors at the event included Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and Chairman, APC National Caretaker Committe, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, Governor of Ekiti state and Chairman, APC Governor’s Forum, Kayode Fayemi, Chairman Ondo APC National Campaign Council and Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Borno State Governor,Babagana Zulum Kwara state Governor, AbdulRahman AdulRasak, Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, Ogun State Prince Dapo Abiodun, Sani Bello of Niger State, and the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief David Onoja, and deputy governor of Kwara State.
Ministers in attendance were, Transportations, Rotimi Ameachi, Minister of state for Petroleum, Timipre Silva, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Tayo Alasoadura among other prominent party personalities.
Other party leaders in Ondo State in attendance included Chief Olusola Oke, Engr Ife Oyedele, immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde, among others.